The newest, innovative micro-coring treatment, Ellacor, is making waves in the medical aesthetic community. This cutting-edge technology removes micro-portions of lax, excess skin, improving the appearance of common signs of aging for tighter, more youthful skin.
Our own Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Chopra, completed his cosmetic fellowship under Dr. Rox Anderson, inventor of the Ellacor device, at Harvard Medical School at Massachusetts General Hospital. Training with Dr. Anderson, Dr. Chopra was one of the first physicians in the world to use the Ellacor device and has already performed over 100 procedures. Along with Dr. Chapas, he continues to work with Cytrellis, the parent company of Ellacor, optimizing future generations of the device.
As an expert in the workings of the Ellacor device, Dr. Chopra has answered some of the most commonly asked questions about this cutting-edge treatment.
Why is it so exciting that Ellacor is a first-of-its-kind micro coring technology? What does this mean for the aesthetic and/or dermatology industry?
The Ellacor device completely revolutionizes the way we approach skin rejuvenation via a breakthrough technology–the ability to remove skin without leaving a scar. As we age, our skin begins to sag and develop wrinkles and folds due to the following intrinsic and extrinsic factors:
- The skin’s increased vulnerability to stretch through the loss of collagen and elasticity.
- Decades of gravity’s downward pull and the repetitive pull on the skin by our muscles of facial expression.
In the past, we would use energy-based devices such as Sofwave, Ulthera, or Thermage to deliver heat in a controlled manner to indirectly promote a collagen-building reaction to tighten the skin. However, these energy-based devices are most effective for mild-to-moderate laxity. On the other end of the spectrum, for severe laxity, our only solution is a surgical facelift. We did not possess any great non-surgical treatments for moderate/severe laxity. Cue Ellacor: a device that addresses a huge unmet need in aesthetics boasting the ability to non-surgically improve both moderate-to-severe wrinkles and sagging skin.
How is Ellacor different from other collagen-inducing treatments such as microneedling? What are the benefits of Ellacor over these other treatments?
Microneedling devices use controlled trauma and/or heat to promote the production of new collagen. This new collagen helps to rejuvenate the skin, improving fine lines and wrinkles, scars, and texture. However, these devices do a poor job of skin tightening because they don’t actually remove skin. Collagen induction is important for rejuvenation but is only one piece of the puzzle. Ellacor possesses the dual ability to not only promote the production of new collagen, but the ability to TIGHTEN through skin removal. Thus, the device can both improve fine lines/wrinkles/texture and also sagging skin.
Can people of all skin types and tones use Ellacor? If not, who should avoid this treatment?
The initial clinical trials for Ellacor’s FDA clearance were performed on patients with light skin. This device is excellent for fair-skinned patients, especially those with significant sun damage and wrinkles. Although darker skin tones have been treated successfully, there is a greater risk of discoloration. Each patient’s skin type is unique, which is why it is incredibly important to visit a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in evaluating skin type before performing the procedure.
Why doesn’t Ellacor leave scarring?
When we have our blood drawn, why doesn’t the large needle leave a permanent scar? If you stop to look at the skin on your arms, there is no evidence of any prior prick or poke. The hole created by the needle is so small that the body can heal the injury without the formation of a scar. This simple fundamental concept served as the impetus for Harvard Medical School dermatologists to study the effect of needle diameter and the formation of a scar, and it was determined that holes less than 0.5mm do not scar. In fact, if you were to evaluate skin after an Ellacor treatment under the microscope, it would look healthier than untreated skin. This is how the Ellacor technology was born!
Some patients may be wary regarding the term “micro-coring”. What would you tell them about this technology and the benefits it can provide?
Micro-coring technology is an extremely safe technology. It was developed at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital by the Godfather of lasers Dr. Rox Anderson. Dr. Anderson invented most of the aesthetic lasers and devices we use around the world today including laser hair removal, nonablative fractional resurfacing (Fraxel), acne lasers (Accure and Aviclear), vascular/redness lasers (VBeam or pulsed dye laser), tattoo removal lasers, etc. Micro-coring technology has been carefully and extensively studied through large clinical trials carried out by trusted experts and demonstrated impressive results and safety. It is one of the safest devices that I employ in my practice.
As one of the first physicians in the world to use the Ellacor device and as a professional who has already performed over 100 procedures, how would you say Ellacor stacks up against other collagen-induction treatments? Please elaborate.
Unlike lasers, microneedling, and other energy-based devices Ellacor boasts the dual ability to both improve wrinkles and lift sagging skin. Other devices are usually much better at one over the other. In fact, I almost never recommend microneedling as a “tightening device” because there are so many devices at UnionDerm that tighten better. On the other hand, I never recommend Sofwave, Ulthera, or Thermage as a “wrinkle-improvement device” because I believe that lasers and microneedling perform better. Ellacor is unique in that it performs both very well. Moreover, it is especially exceptional at improving “smoker lines”, “smile lines” around the mouth, marionette lines, and the nasolabial folds. Moreover, it is the only device that treats the entire depth of the skin (superficial and deep) which is why it is so much more effective than other devices. As one of the first physicians to ever use the device with now ~1.5 years of experience, I have developed a unique protocol to maximize both results and safety. If performed by a trained professional with experience, Ellacor is one of the safest devices on the market. My patients have overall been extremely happy with the procedure and their improvement.
Is Ellacor painful?
Ellacor may look like an aggressive treatment. However, it is one of the most painless procedures that I perform. In fact, I ask all my patients during the procedure how they would rate the treatment in terms of pain from 0 (no pain) to 10 (very painful) and the vast majority respond with 1 or a 2, which is less pain than many of the lasers or microneedling devices we employ in aesthetics.
Learn More About Ellacor
If you are interested in learning more about Ellacor, please contact UnionDerm today to schedule a consultation. Our friendly and professional team will be happy to create a personalized treatment plan for you.